Firefighters from around Starke County will be learning how to protect workers in the grain-handling industry from a potentially life-threatening situation.
Grain entrapment is a serious concern in the local area, according to Andy Tilleraas with the San Pierre Fire Department. “We have a lot of grain storage in our coverage areas, and every year several people lose their lives to grain bin entrapment,” he says. “It usually happens when bins are being emptied and flowing grain. And we want the ability to be able to help those people and prevent some of those deaths.”
To do that, around 40 firefighters representing six of the county’s fire departments will gather for a training session tomorrow at Wappel Farms in San Pierre. They will receive classroom instruction on grain bin rescue, followed by some hands-on training.
Tilleraas says local firefighters already have rescue equipment for these situations. After tomorrow’s training, they’ll be able to use it safely and effectively, should the need arise, “A few years ago, Starke County Farm Bureau purchased the tool for us, which is called the rescue tube, for the county association. It’s been a process just finding out what kind of training we needed to have and who was able to train us to do that, and after some time and persistence, we finally found somebody that was qualified to do so and willing to put the class on for us.”
He says the training was made possible by donations from ten local business and organizations. The grain entrapment training starts tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m.